Invited Speakers

Dr. Arthur Garforth
University of Manchester, United Kingdom 

Dr. Arthur Garforth obtained his PhD at Manchester in 1984 on the artificial maturation of kerogen and worked on zeolites on a BP extramural research award until 1987. Arthur joined UMIST, now the University of Manchester, in 1998 after working in petrochemical and chemical industry.

He was the recipient of the Royal Society Brian Mercer Innovation award in 2008 and the Royal Academy of Engineering Exxon Mobil Excellence in teaching award in 2009. The Brian Mercer award resulted in two patents based on the hydrocracking of mixed plastic waste streams over zeolite catalysts to naphtha and diesel. In 2014 he was promoted to Reader in Chemical Engineering and made a Fellow of the Royal Society of Chemistry.

He has collaborative research with academics in Canada, Japan, Saudi Arabia, Spain and the USA and industrialists in Argent Energy, BASF, Engelhard, JM, Nirex and Saudi Aramco. Tyndall and Joule Centre awards have funded hydrogen generation and storage projects for power applications employing both atmospheric and pressure hydrocracking reactors to test catalysts for fuelling PEM Fuel Cells (Ted Roberts - Calgary).

Prof. T. Alan Hatton
Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), United States

Prof. T. Alan Hatton is the Ralph Landau Professor and Director of the David H. Koch School of Chemical Engineering Practice at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Co-Director of the MIT Energy Initiative Center for Carbon Capture, Utilization and Storage, and an Honorary Professorial Fellow of the University of Melbourne in Australia. He obtained his BSc and MSc degrees in Chemical Engineering at the University of Natal, Durban, South Africa, and worked at the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research in Pretoria for three years before attending the University of Wisconsin, Madison, to obtain his PhD. His research interests encompass self-assembly of surfactants and block copolymers, synthesis and functionalization of magnetic nanoparticles and metal-organic frameworks for chemical, biological and environmental separations and catalysis, and the exploitation of stimuli-responsive materials for chemical and pharmaceutical processing applications. The most recent focus of his research has been on electrochemically-mediated CO2 capture and conversion, and on electro-swing sorption processes for trace contaminants of emerging concern in water supplies.

Dr. Michele Ostraat
Aramco Research Center – Boston, United States 

Dr. Michele Ostraat, Downstream Research Center Leader for Aramco Research Center – Boston, brings her technical background in aerosols and nanomaterials to create, manage, and lead scientific teams and programs to accelerate technical innovation through development and optimization of advanced materials. In this role, her team conducts applied research in chemistry, materials science, and engineering to translate materials discovery into commercial opportunities in diverse downstream technologies, including membranes for gas separation, porous materials for catalysis, and advanced composites for corrosion resistance. She also interfaces extensively with collaborators across industry and academia. Prior to joining Aramco Research Center - Boston, Dr. Ostraat was Senior Director of the Center for Aerosol and Nanomaterials Engineering at RTI International where she led scientific teams developing products and applications for aerosols and nanomaterials for energy and health-related technologies. She also worked at DuPont’s Experimental Station in aerosol synthesis and characterization of sub-micron and nanoparticles for advanced electronic applications. She was a Member of Technical Staff at Bell Labs and Agere Systems where she examined the synthesis of rare-earth doped aerosol nanoparticles and investigated the behavior of chalcogenide phase change materials. She earned her Ph.D. and M.S. degrees in Chemical Engineering from the California Institute of Technology and her B.S. degree in Chemistry from Trinity University.

Dr. Abdulaziz M. Al-Jodai
Saudi Basic Industries Corporation (SABIC), Saudi Arabia 

Dr. Abdulaziz M. Al-Jodai has over 23 years of experience in technology development projects. Currently, he is the Corporate Program Director at the Technology and Innovation Department, SABIC company. Dr. Al-Jodai’s current involvements include formulation of mid- and long-term corporate strategies, development of technology roadmaps as well as the portfolio management of various developmental programs. He has been granted several patents in process development and environmental fields. He was the key developer of the technology used in the world’s largest carbon dioxide purification plant that has been commercialized at United company.

Dr. Al-Jodai has represented Saudi Arabia in COP21 Paris, where he presented and chaired technical sessions. He has been appointed by King Abdulaziz City for Science and Technology (KACST) for developing the strategy of petrochemical industries in Saudi Arabia. Dr. Al-Jodai is a UOP (U.S.A.) engineering fellow, with a PhD in chemical Engineering and MS degree in industrial Management from WVU, USA.


Prof. Jeong Ik Lee 
Korea Advanced Institute of Science & Technology (KAIST), South Korea

Prof. Jeong Ik Lee completed his PhD degree in Nuclear Science and Engineering from Massachusetts Institute of Technology with a support from the MIT Manson Benedict Fellowship. Prof. Lee’s major research interests are nuclear energy system engineering and analyses.

Currently his research group is very active in the area of supercritical CO2 power cycle technology development. His research on the supercritical CO2 cooled small modular nuclear reactor was recognized as the top ten research achievements of KAIST in 2014. He is now the deputy secretary of supercritical CO2 power cycle initiative in Korea. His research group is not only working on the nuclear energy system but also expanding the application area of the technology to the waste heat recovery system for gas turbines and fuel cells.

Currently he is collaborating with Saudi Aramco to develop an appropriate waste heat recovery system for the gas turbine bottoming cycle with the supercritical CO₂ power system.



Dr. Sunil Kokal
Saudi Aramco, Saudi Arabia 

Dr. Sunil Kokalis a Principal Professional (Senior Advisor) and a Focus Area Champion of Enhanced Oil Recovery in the Reservoir Engineering Technology team of EXPEC Advanced Research Center at Saudi Aramco in Dhahran, Saudi Arabia. Since joining Aramco in 1993, he has been involved in applied research projects on enhanced/improved oil recovery, reservoir fluids, hydrocarbon phase behavior, crude oil emulsions, and production related challenges. Currently he is leading a group of scientists, engineers and technicians to develop a program for CO2 enhanced oil recovery and to conduct appropriate studies and field demonstration projects.

He has written over 100 technical papers and has authored the chapters on “Crude Oil Emulsions” and “Reservoir Fluid Sampling” for the revised edition of the SPE Petroleum Engineering Handbook (2006). He has serverd as the Associate Editor for the Journal of Petroleum Science and Engineering, and SPE’s Reservoir Evaluation and Engineering Journal, and earlier served on the Editorial Review Board of the Journal of Canadian Petroleum Technology. He is a member of the Society of Petroleum Engineers, and is a registered professional engineer and a member of the Association of Professional Engineers, Geologists and Geophysicists of Alberta (Canada).

Dr. Kokal is the recipient of the prestigious 2012 SPE DeGolyer Distinguished Service Medal, 2011 SPE Distinguished Service Award, the 2010 SPE Regional Technical award for Reservoir Description & Dynamics, the 2008 SPE Distinguished Member Award for his services to the society. He also served as a SPE Distinguished Lecturer during 2007-2008. Prior to joining Saudi Aramco, Dr. Kokal worked at the Petroleum Recovery Institute (PRI), Calgary, Canada.

Dr. Kokal holds a Ph.D. degree in Chemical Engineering from the University of Calgary, Canada (1987) and a B.S. degree in Chemical Engineering from the Indian Institute of Technology, New Delhi, India (1982).

Dr. Yoshimi Okada
Chiyoda Corporation, Japan 

Dr. Okada is currently Principal Researcher of the Technology Development Unit and Hydrogen Supply Chain Development Unit at Chiyoda Corporation. Dr. Okada obtained his Master’s and Ph.D. degree in Chemical Engineering from Yokohama National University, Japan.

Dr. Okada started his professional career at Chiyoda Corporation in 1986 and contributed in development of catalysts for number processes including hydrogen production processes. Dr. Okada became Group Leader of Catalysts Development for Hydrogen production and later as Principal Researcher of Process Development Section and Task Leader of Hydrogen demonstration projects since 2011. He is one of the pioneers known internationally in Liquid Organic Hydrogen Carriers (LOHC) for on-site hydrogen production for next generation hydrogen vehicles etc.

Dr. Okada won many awards based on professional contributions and achievements such as Jules Verne Award by International Association of Hydrogen Energy in 2014 and Japanese Institute of Energy award in 2015. Dr. Okada has held important position on various committees in Japan, Director of Zeolites Association or The Catalysis Society etc. and at present, Dr. Okada is Advisor of Japan Science and Technology by the Ministry of Education and Director of Hydrogen Energy System Society of Japan. Dr. Okada has number of technical papers and patents in large-scale storage and transportation of hydrogen energy.


Prof. Yuriy Roman 
Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), United States 

Prof. Roman was born in Mexico City, Mexico. He obtained his Bachelor of Science degree in Chemical Engineering at the University of Pennsylvania in 2002 and completed his Ph.D. at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, also in Chemical Engineering, under the guidance of Prof. James Dumesic.  At UW he worked on developing catalytic strategies to convert biomass-derived carbohydrates into platform chemicals.  Before joining the department of Chemical Engineering at MIT as an Assistant Professor, he completed a two-year postdoc at Caltech, working with Prof. Mark E. Davis on the synthesis of zeolites and mesoporous materials for the activation of small molecules and biomass-derived oxygenates.

Prof. Roman’s research lies at the interface of heterogeneous catalysis and materials design. His group applies a wide range of synthetic, spectroscopic, and reaction engineering tools to study the chemical transformation of molecules on catalytic surfaces. A strong emphasis is placed on the application of catalytic materials to tackle relevant problems associated with sustainable energy, biofuels, and renewable chemicals.   Current efforts are geared toward designing water-tolerant solid Lewis acids, investigating cooperative effects of catalytic pairs, and engineering earth-abundant materials to replace catalysts based on noble metals. He has been recognized with the SHPE Outstanding Young Investigator Award in 2013 and the NSF CAREER award in 2014. 

Prof. A.-H. Alissa Park 
Columbia University, United States 

Prof. A.-H. Alissa Park is the Lenfest Chair in Applied Climate Science of Earth and Environmental Engineering & Chemical Engineering at Columbia University. She is also the Director of the Lenfest Center for Sustainable Energy at the Earth Institute. Her research focuses on sustainable energy conversion pathways with emphasis on integrated carbon capture, utilization and storage (CCUS).

The current efforts include the fundamental studies of chemical and physical interactions of natural and engineered materials with CO2 such as the development of novel nano-scale hybrid materials for integrated CO2 capture and conversion. Founded on these new materials and reaction schemes, Park group is also working on innovative fuel synthesis pathways using unconventional energy sources such as shale gas, biomass and municipal solid wastes, while minimizing environmental impacts.

Prof. Park received a number of professional awards and honors including the NSF CAREER Award in 2009 and James Lee Young Investigator Award in 2010. She is currently leading the NSF-funded Research Coordination Network on Carbon Capture, Utilization and Storage.

Prof. Johannes G.E.M. (Hans) Fraaije 
Leiden University, The Netherlands 

Prof. Johannes G.E.M. (Hans) Fraaije (Leiden University) is an expert in the thermodynamics of complex fluids. He started his professional career in the late 1980’s, working as researcher in applied mathematics (corporate research, Akzo Nobel). Since then he has developed a portfolio of algorithms and services to address the need of the industry in modeling a variety of systems, such as polymers, surfactants and emulsions, and embedded actives, always from a multi-scale perspective. Such method encompasses and integrates all modern theories: from quantum to chemical informatics, and from data-mining to molecular thermodynamics.

During his career, Professor Fraaije worked with dozens of international companies, from oil industries, personal and home care industries, and chemical and pharmaceutical industries. He is inventor of the mesoscale modeling package ‘Mesodyn’ for simulating polymer blend interfaces; this was the first such package to be distributed commercially, through BIOVIA since 1997.

In 2004, Professor Fraaije founded software and services company CULGI, with the ambition to assist the chemical industry in the transformation to a new world of research, in which chemical analysis and high-throughput screening, extremely cheap computer power, and new algorithms lead to a vastly accelerated information-rich development of new products and methods. It seems that given the pressing need for green and sustainable chemistry, such modeling approach is a most welcome addition to any research portfolio.

Prof. Gautam Kalghatgi 
Saudi Aramco, Saudi Arabia 

Prof. Kalghatgi is currently a Principal Professional at Saudi Aramco and is also a Visiting Professor at Imperial College, London and at Oxford University. He has held similar professorial appointments in the past at KTH, Stockholm; Technical University, Eindhoven and Sheffield University.

He joined Saudi Aramco in October 2010 after 31 years with Shell Research Ltd. in the U.K. He is a fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering, SAE and I.Mech.E. and is on the editorial boards of several journals. He has made significant contributions to combustion, fuels and engine research and transport energy issues and has published around 130 papers and a recent book, “Fuel/Engine Interactions”. 

He has a B.Tech. from I.I.T. Bombay (1972) and Ph.D. from Bristol University (1975) in Aeronautical Engineering. From 1975 to 1979, he did post-doctoral research in turbulent combustion at Southampton University. 

Dr. James Kaufman  
The Laboratory Safety Institute (LSI), United States  

Dr. James Kaufman is President/CEO and founder of The Laboratory Safety Institute (LSI) - an international, non-profit center for safety in science, industry, and education. Dr. Kaufman received his B.A. in chemistry from Tufts and his Ph.D. in organic chemistry from WPI. Working for Dow, Dr. Kaufman authored "Laboratory Safety Guidelines".  Four million copies (in 13 languages) are in circulation.

Dr. Kaufman has trained more than 100,000 scientists and science educators.  He is a 12-year member of the American Chemical Society's (ACS) Council Committee on Chemical Safety and is past-chairman of the ACS Division of Chemical Health and Safety.

Dr. Kaufman is the author-narrator of the ACS Audio Course on Laboratory Safety and editor of "Waste Disposal at Academic Institutions" from Lewis Publishers.  He recorded and edited the "One-Day Laboratory Safety Audio Seminar" and "Two-Day Lab Safety Video Course”.

Dr. Kaufman is a co-authored of "Safety Is Elementary: the new standard for safety in the elementary science classroom". Most recently Dr. Kaufman prepared one, two and three-day on-demand internet lab safety courses.

Dr. Mohamed Bououdina 
The University of Bahrain, Kingdom of Bahrain  

Dr. Mohamed Bououdina is the founding Director of the Centre of Nanotechnology at the University of Bahrain, Kingdom of Bahrain. He obtained his Ph.D. in Condensed Matter Physics from University Joseph Fourier (Grenoble, France) in 1995. He has a broad research experience and has been a research fellow at leading institutions, including University of Zaragoza (Spain), University of Nottingham (UK), Queen Mary University of London (UK), National Institute of Materials and Chemical Research (Tsukuba, Japan), Institute Neel (Grenoble, France), etc.

His vast research experience is manifested in over 240 research papers published in scientific journals of repute besides 2 edited books and numerous book chapters. His work has been presented in several international conferences as invited speaker. He is associated editor  of  various  international journals such as International Journal of Hydrogen Energy, Journal of Nanomaterials, International Journal of Nanoscience, International Journal of Nanoparticles (Asia Regional Editor), International Journal of Materials Engineering Innovation (Asia Regional Editor), International Journal of Biomedical Nanoscience & Nanotechnology, etc. He has supervised and co-supervised innumerable graduate students.

Dr. Bououdina has also been awarded numerous research grants and through his successful research projects he and his team have been successful in bridging the gap between academia and industry. In addition, he is a member of International Association for Hydrogen Energy (IAHE, USA) and other organisations. Dr. Bououdina’s research  expertise  includes Renewable Energy (Hydrogen Storage), Advanced Materials, Nanoscience & Nanotechnology, Nanomaterials for Spintronics, Carbon Nanostructures, Neutron Diffraction, Nanoparticles for Biomedical Applications & Wastewater Treatment, Biomaterials, Functional Nanoparticles, Nanostructured Intermetallics, etc.

Prof. Niveen M. Khashab  
King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST), Saudi Arabia  

Prof. Niveen M. Khashab is an Associate Professor in the Physical Sciences and Engineering Division in joined King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST). During her doctoral studies at the University of Florida, Prof. Khashab trained in heterocyclic and chemistry in the laboratory of Prof. Alan R. Katritzky.

During her post-doctoral studies at the University of California, Los Angeles and then at Northwestern University, Prof. Khashab continued her training in Sir Fraser Stoddart’s laboratory, where she worked on designing and making smart mechanized silica nanoparticles for the controlled delivery of cargo and as well as sensing motifs.

Professor Khashab's has received the Crow award for organic innovation in 2006 and AlMarai award for excellence in nanotechnology in the Middle East region in 2013. She has more than 70 publications in high impact journals.

Prof. Bengt Johansson   
King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST), Saudi Arabia  

Bengt Johansson is since January 2016 professor in Mechanical Engineering at King Abdullah University of Science and Technology, KAUST in Saudi Arabia.

Bengt Johansson was Professor in Internal Combustion Engines at Lund University between 2001 and 2015 and head of the combustion engine group 2004-2015. He was also director of the Centre of Competence Combustion Processes with a number of international industry partners 2003-2015. His group was among the leaders in low temperature combustion research. He has published more than 250 papers within HCCI and other low temperature combustion processes.

He has been part time professor at TU Eindhoven, the Netherlands 2011-2015, chairman of the SAE Engine Combustion Committee 2012-2015 and 2006-2015 chair for the HCCI fuels collaborative task within the International Energy Agency, IEA. 

Dr. Ki-Hyouk CHOI   
Saudi Aramco, Saudi Arabia  

Dr. Ki-Hyouk CHOI has joined Saudi Aramco since 2004. Currently, he is a Senior Research Science Consultant at the Saudi Aramco, Research and Development Center. His major expertise is on Oil Upgrading, Catalyst, and Petroleum Analysis. Dr. Choi has published 34 papers at the peer-reviewed Journals, granted 20 US Patents and presented more than 50 papers and technical conferences.

Before joining Saudi Aramco, Dr. Choi worked as an Assistant Professor in the Kyushu University in Japan, Research Engineer in Hanwha Chemical Company in South Korea. Dr Choi earned his Ph.D., M.Sc. and BS degrees in Chemical Technology from Seoul National University in Seoul, South Korea in 1994, 1990 and 1988, respectively.

In 2008, Dr. Choi received the Recognition Award (E&PM) from Saudi Aramco in Saudi Arabia. Additionally, in 1998, Dr. Choi received the KT Mark (Korean Excellent Technology Award) from Ministry of Science and Technology in South Korea.

Mr. Muayad Simbawa   
General Electric (GE), Saudi Arabia  

Mr. Muayad Simbawa is the Sales Manager for GE Environmental Control Solutions (ECS) in MENAT.  At GE, Mr. Muayad is responsible for driving the Sales strategy for GE ECS business by creating and executing on growth Initiatives; identifying and developing new business opportunities in Oil & Gas, Petrochemical, Chemical, and other industries.

Prior to that, Mr. Muayad led sales for the Power, Nuclear & Renewable businesses in Saudi for Alstom based in Saudi where he was responsible for driving business development, sales and strategy development.

Mr. Muayad started his career with GE in 2006 as a Co-op student followed by Engineering role in 2007 for rotating equipment and held number of roles with GE from engineering and services to Quality management including lean six sigma projects development.

Mr. Muayad holds a BSc. degree in Applied Electrical Engineering (2007) from King Fahad University of Petroleum and Minerals in Dhahran, Saudi Arabia.